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John Morley and the Uses of History in Victorian Liberal Culture - by Marco De Waard (Hardcover)
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In his ambitious study of John Morley (1838-1923), Marco de Waard retrieves the literary critic and intellectual historian's status as a prolific and versatile man of letters whose influence reshaped the nineteenth century's liberal culture of the past from the 1860s onwards. At the same time, by situating Morley's work in its many contexts, from the religious to the professional, de Waard uses Morley to explore the ways in which a distinctly nineteenth-century vision and practice of history helped transform Britain into a modern liberal culture and refashioned its identity as a liberal nation-state. Based on extensive archival research, de Waard's study combines a biographical framework with a close and historically informed analysis of John Morley's work and ideas. He pays strategic attention to Morley's relations with leading philosophers of the period like Auguste Comte, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer; to his friendships with Leslie Stephen, Mark Pattison, George Meredith, and T. H. Huxley, and to his vigorous polemics with contemporaries such as Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, A. C. Swinburne, and Hippolyte Taine. Chapters focus on Morley's activities as critic and editor of the influential Fortnightly Review; on his ambitious studies of French Enlightenment philosophers; on his use of popular, didactic biographies to promote a progressive and democratic understanding of Britain's national past; and on his work as an historian of contemporary politics who cast a peaceable solution to the 'Irish question' as the test case of a modern liberal polity. Significantly, de Waard locates Morley's work squarely in the British utilitarian tradition and challenges the pervasive idea that from c. 1860, the narrative histories of the early-Victorian period were replaced by more specialised and academic forms of historical writing.
Number of Pages: 270 p. ;
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Book theme: General
Author: Marco De Waard
Street Date: January 1, 2021
Item Number (DPCI): 248-24-8201
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